Fall has officially begun. I know that the autumnal equinox is a few days away and some experts would say that it is still late summer. They would be wrong. How can I be so sure? Because I woke up one morning last week and I was too cold to go back to sleep. I realized that it was time to bite the bullet and wrestle my duvet back into its cover. This is no mean feat. Imagine, if you will, a rather petite woman practically crawling into the gaping mouth of a king-size bedspread, hauling behind her a large white comforter, trying to match the four corners of this beast and its cover so that it will lie nice and flat on the bed. So there you have it. I mark the change of seasons not so much by the position of the sun in the sky, but by the need to change my linens!
I’ve had the idea for this recipe in my head for quite a long time now. I’d made some maple-flavoured sugar cookies a few years ago around Christmas time from a recipe out of Bon Appetit, and they’d been a big hit with my coworkers. And as a kid, I’d always loved the junkie maple sandwich cookies you could buy at the store. So the idea of sandwiching these maple cookies together with a maple-flavoured filling wasn’t really a huge cognitive leap. With the cooler weather upon us and friends coming over for dinner on Saturday night, it seemed like the right time to break out my leaf-shaped cookie cutters and have some fun.
I had no intention of making these low carb or gluten free. I figured our friends would appreciate the full flour, full sugar version a little better (right, Dionne?). I actually had to go out and buy all-purpose flour and icing sugar for these, since I’d run out quite a while ago and never stocked back up. Now that says something about how well I’ve been doing with my dietary restrictions, for me to run out of all-purpose flour!
The Results: If you like maple syrup and you like sugar cookies, you will LOVE these! Two maple sugar cookies held together by maple buttercream. Really, how can you go wrong? They were delicious (yes, I tried one myself…and then ran 13.9 miles this morning to make up for it!). Our guests enjoyed them and I sent them away with some of the leftovers. Not all, for certain, as my kids would have my head if I’d given them all away!
Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies
Cookies (from Bon Appetit, December 2005):
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp maple extract
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
For the cookies, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple extract until combined.
Beat in flour in several additions, until just blended. Divide dough into two balls and flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/3 inch thick. Cut out cookies with leaf-shaped cookie cutter(s) dipped lightly in flour. Place cookies on prepared sheets about 1 inch apart.
Note: If your cookie-cutter is not perfectly symmetrical, you may need to turn it upside-down to cut out shapes for the backside of the cookie sandwiches. If your cookie cutter is not sharp enough on the non-cutting side, you can also flip the cookie shape upside down after you have cut it out from the dough.
Bake cookies until edges just start to brown, 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely as they can start to burn quickly. Use an insulated baking sheet if you have one, that worked best for me.
Cool cookies on sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
For the filling, cream butter with an electric mixer. Add in icing sugar and maple syrup and beat until combined and smooth.
Spread the backside of one cookie with a dollop of buttercream. Top with another cookie, and repeat until all cookies are matched up. You can afford to be fairly generous with the buttercream. I stinged a bit of the first few cookies, and found I had a lot left for the last few. You can put about a teaspoon of buttercream in each sandwich cookie.
Makes approximately 36 two-inch sandwich cookies.